Reuniting After War is happy to announce our next reunion in September, 2017. We are honored to reunite the men that served together in 2003-2004 with 3/7 Lima Company.
Here are a few things we are hearing from those who plan to attend:
“I’m most looking forward to reuniting with brothers that I haven’t seen in over 13 years. To be able to catch up and talk about our memories that we all share. Some of those memories that we have, we can only talk to each other about. Our friends/family back home, would have no way to relate to our experiences. We all share a special bond since we all chewed the same dirt together.”
“I am most looking forward to bringing closure to some hidden wounds I have. I left and went to another duty station right before the company’s 2nd tour in Iraq and we lost several of my close friends and brothers. I have never had a chance to say I am sorry for leaving them before they left and I am looking forward to seeing them again and asking forgiveness. Most won’t understand what it means to me but it’s important.”
“I am most looking forward to being reunited with my brothers and being able to share my life and learn about theirs, but mostly just getting to be around them again. Wherever I am, or however long it’s been when I am around my brothers I am “home”.”
The following is just one of the stories they experienced together Days like this can define you, like no other, I can only imagine.
“The unit took more than just the physical loses from the day of fighting; they took some of life’s harshest lessons learned – the hardest way. One company had lost five members in one short day. “
The Battle of Husybah was fought in the spring of 2004 at the same time as the First Battle of Fallujah. In April 2004, Fallujah was under siege by United States Marines, and insurgents were looking to relieve pressure on the city by attempting an offensive of their own. Ten days before, the highway connecting Al Anbar to Baghdad was cut and the insurgents attacked the capital of the province, Ramadi. The attack was repulsed by the Marines and the battle resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. Now the insurgents were ready for another attack, on the city of Husaybah on the Syrian border.
An estimated 300 Iraqis from Fallujah and Ramadi launched an assault against the Americans in Husaybah. The insurgents lured the Americans from their base on the outskirts of the city first with a roadside bombing and then with a mortar attack. When the Marines responded they walked into an ambush where they were hit with small-arms and machine-gun fire near a former Ba’ath Party headquarters. More reinforcements were soon called in to help the ambushed Marines. That force was also hit as they were entering the city. Very soon heavy street fighting ensued which lasted the whole day. The Marines had to clear two-story buildings block by block. Most of the fighting was centered along a street in the northern part of the town which the Marines called “East End Street”. Insurgents were on both sides of the street and were constantly laying down fire at the Marines. The fighting slowed down a bit after the Marines cleared a house used by the insurgents as a stronghold which they later nicknamed “The Crack House”, but fighting continued late into the night. During the night Cobra helicopter gunships strafed insurgent positions near a soccer stadium downtown.
Five Marines were killed along with 150 insurgents in the fierce battle that lasted 14 hours. Another 9 Marines were wounded and 20 insurgents captured. Capt. Richard J. Gannon II, 31, of Escondido, Calif. (Posthumously awarded the rank of Major). The Marine base in Husaybah was renamed Camp Gannon in his honor.
Cpl. Christopher A. Gibson, 23, of Simi Valley, CA
Lance Cpl. Michael J. Smith Jr., 21, of Jefferson, Ohio.
Lance Cpl. Ruben Valdez Jr., 21, of San Diego, Texas.
Lance Cpl. Gary F. VanLeuven, 20, of Klamath Falls, Ore.
We are looking forward to reuniting this highly decorated group. We need your help. This will be the largest Reunion we have held. Please consider donating a cash gift or choosing an area to sponsor. Join us in the honor of serving those who have served our country so well.